Meet a Few of Our Current Residents
Michelle Nguyen, MD
Med School: Stanford University School of Medicine
I am a Northern California native. I studied Anthropology at Tufts University. I spent two years doing research before enrolling at Stanford University School of Medicine. While there I learned the value of innovation, honed my research skill set, and made great friends. After seven years in the San Francisco Bay Area, I thought long and hard about what came next. There were three major factors that led me to Pittsburgh: (1) UPMC has a strong academic and clinical reputation across many disciplines, and I knew being here would provide good opportunities for both my husband (also a doctor) and me; (2) after spending time on both coasts, I wanted to experience living in another part of the country so I could learn from a different ideological perspective; (3) Pittsburgh is my type of city: not too small, not too big, culturally-rich, strong restaurant scene, and down-to-earth Steel City roots.
I chose to be a categorical resident because I knew the path would allow me maximal flexibility to pursue my interests in health equity research, design/innovation, and the medical humanities. Over the last three months, I’ve cared for many of our nation’s veterans, whitewater rafted in Ohiopyle State Park with my co-interns, finished reading a novel in Schenley Park, enjoyed drinks on three rooftops, and eaten enough noteworthy meals that I’ve lost count. I’m looking forward to what comes next.
Vish Kothary, MD
Med School: Vanderbilt University School of Medicine
I chose UPMC because I was very impressed with the residents and faculty in the Women’s Health Track on my interview day. This program represents a group of dynamic, progressive leaders in medicine with a clear enthusiasm for outstanding teaching, high quality clinical care, and research – all of which were important criteria for me when looking at residency programs. My mentors in medical school recommended Pitt as one of the top institutions in the country for Women’s Health research, and this program felt like a natural fit on interview day. My first two months of residency have only confirmed and strengthened this initial impression. My co-residents are outstanding colleagues, mentors, and physicians, and it’s a privilege to work with this group of people. Pittsburgh has been a wonderful city to live in so far, with all the amenities of a big city without any of the downsides that come with big coastal cities. I look forward to what the next 3 years of residency will bring!
Angela Suen, MD
Med School: University of California San Francisco School of Medicine
I chose to couple’s match with my husband at UPMC for three reasons: strength of training, diversity of clinical experiences, and focus on resident well-being. I was immediately drawn to the program for its collegiality. The residents and faculty are very welcoming and approachable. There is protected conference time for education and administrators are thoughtful about creating opportunities for learning rather than filling slots needed to run a hospital. Also, there are a variety of different hospitals to rotate through, which allow me to see how differently a disease process can manifest. The patient diversity offers a rich spectrum of perspectives to learn from. And thirdly, the program prioritizes work-life balance. The staff make a real effort to make our lives a little easier. They go out of their way to help me align my vacations with my husband’s. It takes a lot to take a California girl away from home, and I’m so glad I took the plunge!
Maria Velez Velez, MD
Med School: Universidad CES Escuela de Medicina; University of Texas School of Medicine at San Antonio
I chose UPMC’s Internal Medicine residency because of the incredible training and research oriented atmosphere that the program offers. After graduating from medical school in Colombia, I spent three years in research and knew that I wanted to pursue a career as a clinical researcher. When evaluating programs, it was immediately clear that the International Scholar’s Track at UPMC was the perfect place for me to train. The program emphasizes helping residents identify mentors early on in residency to set up research projects to work on throughout the 3 years of training. It also offers a special curriculum with lectures on important subjects such as biostatistics and research methods. Additionally, I have been impressed by the leadership’s involvement in continuously improving the program, and the culture of kindness and support for residents and staff in general is a differentiator from other programs.
Dustin McCurry, MD
Med School: University of Arizona College of Medicine Phoenix
On my interview trail many programs started to blend together, but UPMC stood out. I was impressed by the excellent clinical education paired with strong research opportunities, all highlighted by a culture that fostered excellence and camaraderie. I felt that the various program tracks offered special opportunities to fine tune my residency experience. For me, the clinician scientist track was appealing and unique amongst my residency search. Since arriving, I’ve been consistently impressed by my colleagues and attendings, specifically in how they both care for their patients, educate trainees, and create a supportive and welcoming environment. Coming from Phoenix, I’ve found Pittsburgh to be fun, affordable, and a great place to live (and much greener!). I am happy to be here and look forward to completing my internal medicine training at UPMC!
Blair Stone, MD
Med School: West Virginia University School of Medicine – Charleston
I chose UPMC for residency because of the breadth of clinical experiences that are offered through this program. We have the opportunity to learn and work at a major quaternary care center, a large VA and an academic community hospital. You can learn something different from each of these settings that help to shape, not only how you practice medicine, but can also help to guide your future career decisions. I chose to pursue the Geriatrics track and have found my advisors to be very enthusiastic and welcoming. In fact, during my first month of residency I was approached with the opportunity to work on a research project! However, what I really like about this program are my fellow residents. Everyone is very friendly and supportive of one another, and even though we are a large program, the residency leadership and chiefs do a great job of making our program feel like a family.
VIDEO: Faces of a Life Changing Residency
Click the “CC” button for subtitles.